<%dim crumb crumb="Access Conditional Format" Crumb2="Conditional Formatting Example Download" crumb1="Control Form Field Format Programmatically" %> Conditional Formatting in Access
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Conditional Formatting

Change Visual Properties of Form & Report Fields

Conditional formatting of fields in Access forms and reports provides a powerful method for highlighting information in an otherwise monotonous continuous form or report. The ability to trigger visual changes to a field based on a different field in the form or report is not immediately obvious when using the conditional formatting wizard.

You need to select Expression when choosing the type of condition from the drop down list in the conditional format wizard.

In our downloadable Access database example we set two format on two different fields:

The 1st condition is set on the Barcode form field. Here we set  the barcode field to change to a red color when the Inv_Qty (inventory quantity) field falls below a threshold of 100.

The 2nd condition is on the Price field in the form.  Here we set the color of the price field to green when the price is above $10.

One word of caution about the conditional formats - if you change field names in the tables at some future date you may have difficulty finding the incorrect reference to the changed field name since the conditional format function does not create visual basic code for you to debug or review.  You'll need to recreate the conditional format once you find it.  In a large complicated form finding the offending reference could take a while.

Below is a snapshot of the form: Data Field Conditional Format

Here is the link to download the conditional formatting Microsoft Access example database.

Note that these conditional format methods can be fairly complex.  You can refer to other data fields in the recordset and perform calculations in order to set the conditional properties.

We have also come up with a method to shade an entire line of data on a continuous form by applying visible/not visible property to a colored text box that spans the entire records.  Perhaps you can think of additional tricks for using the conditional formatting capability of Access continuous forms.

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